Written by: Rich Butler (My Take Radio)

This past weekend we were treated to the opening round of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix and in terms of memorable moments it most certainly delivered. While the historical significance of the event will be remembered, the main event outcome outshined the overall event.

Going into this event Fedor Emelianenko was heavily favored due to his experience in Pride and his hunger to redeem himself after the loss to Fabricio Werdum that ended his legendary win streak. In looking at the tournament brackets I was one of many that thought Fedor would demolish Silva and go on to face either Werdum or Overeem. Antonio “Big Foot” Silva obviously had other plans and used his mammoth size to nullify Fedor’s offense.  The audience at the Izod center sat stunned as one MMA’s most enigmatic figures got manhandled in route to a TKO defeat due to doctor’s stoppage (eye swollen shut).

The post fight interview showed what a class act Fedor was in his loss. The biggest shocker from his interview was the announcement of a possible retirement which has been debated since Saturday. The enigma of Fedor Emelianenko even in defeat captures the hearts and minds of MMA fans worldwide. His detractors are quick to speak of his abilities being overhyped, catered to and in some cases created by the M-1 Global management machine. While his supporters cite his past performances and his legacy in the sport, Dana White posted his commentary on twitter and needless to say it was “colorful” to say the least. White’s commentary only fueled the fire between Fedor’s fans and his detractors and in some ways did more harm than good. Simply because it made Dana seem like a petulant child screaming “I told ya ,“ versus the savvy businessman we all know so well.

I know many fans wanted to see Fedor in the UFC especially prior to his loss but in the end something’s just aren’t meant to be and honestly with the bad blood between Dana & M1 the odds of Fedor in the octagon were never that good.

Silva will now face the winner of Overeem vs. Werdum

Fedor, in losing did make a star out of Antonio Silva, who was never given his due, but In the words of Ric Flair “ To be the man, you have to beat the man”. Antonio Silva did just that and now moves one step closer to becoming the Strikeforce heavyweight Grand Prix Champion.

Fedor’s loss does not sully his legacy; on the contrary it reinforces his status of a legend. You can teach Muay Thai, Sambo and BJJ but you can’t teach toughness or heart, something Fedor exhibited even in defeat.  If this is the last time we’ve all seen Fedor fight, a thanks for the kick ass memories is in order.

Images Courtsy of Strikeforce

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